Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tales from Abroad: Updates on the Crisis in Ukraine

 Isn't Over"
TimeMagazine released the following cover photo depicting the aftermath of warfare that erupted in streets of Kiev last winter. The message is clear, this war for Ukraine's freedom is still being waged and it is far from over.
Last April, I stood in this square. 
I could not believe the devastation of what my eyes beheld there. The tally of victims at that point in time was well over 700, and the number has continued to grow with each passing month. Despite attempts to establish a ceasefire, the fighting continues to escalate, and now encompasses nearly all of Eastern Ukraine (as seen in the map below). 

The BBC recently released a special report documenting the tragic account of one family from Mariupol, Ukraine. In their town alone, twenty-three children have been killed by Pro-Russian rebel artillery shells. This report of two siblings, Nikita (10) & Karolina (6), honors the memory of those innocents who have lost their lives as a result of this war. 
To hear their story, click on the link below and then share to help raise awareness of the Ukraine crisis. Encourage Christians everywhere to be in prayer on behalf of our fellow believers overseas in the midst of this fighting.  

Letters from “Tonya”
Read the following testimony of what life is like in the war zone of Eastern Ukraine…
The following letter is from our dear friend and fellow missionary, Tonya. The three of us girls met Tonya two years ago during our first mission trip to Ukraine. We were touring with the BBC and Vice media at the time. Tonya's endearing personality and fearless love for God has been such an inspiration to us girls. Shortly after meeting we instantly became friends! Now we share a sisterhood bond as young women who are pursuing the calling that God has placed upon our lives. Although many miles separate us, we are of one heart. 

Tonya currently travels throughout the countryside of Eastern Ukraine with her local tent ministry, bringing the message of freedom in Christ to each town. 

This week she writes from the Luhansk region, as shown in this map of Ukraine.

“Here, this is not much calm,
so please pray for the Lord
to have kept me and my church!
We have no telephone,
no running banks,
no post office,
and people go out of town.
Said the internet was also shut off.
But we do not lose heart!
God is with us,
 He keeps us and accompanies us His grace!
I pray now that,
that the Lord has anointed me to be strong and serve mightily.
I believe that this is happening.
Because people are saved,
Many are healed
and I believe that many will receive spiritual freedom
through my ministry…

The Lord bless you with everything you need!

“In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
 Let me never be ashamed;
 Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me,
 Deliver me speedily;
 Be my rock of refuge,
 A fortress of defense to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
 Therefore, for Your name’s sake, 
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
 For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
 You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth…Fear is on every side;
While they take counsel together against me,
They scheme to take away my life.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; 
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
 Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
 And from those who persecute me.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
 Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You;
 Let the wicked be ashamed;
 Let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be put to silence,
Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
Oh, how great is Your goodness,
 Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
 Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence 
From the plots of man;
 You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
 For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
For I said in my haste,
 “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; 
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You. Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
 For the Lord preserves the faithful,
 And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage,
 And He shall strengthen your heart,
 All you who hope in the Lord.” -Psalm 31:1-5, 13-24-

Monthly Shout Out!
Shout out from the Teenage Exorcists to our fellow college students!
We hope you enjoy a wonderful first month of the Fall Semester.
All three of us are back on campus and busy balancing academics and ministry!
We would love to hear from you this semester on the topic of what life is like as a Christian on your campus. How is God moving at your school? And how can we pray for you?
Lastly, don’t hesitate to message us with questions about what’s popular to our generation and the possible spiritual ramifications of “following the crowd” in that specific area of your life. God Bless!

Prayer Requests:
-Pray for our young generation & the future of America
-Pray for “Tonya” and our fellow Christians in Ukraine

-Pray for the persecuted church & missionaries serving God all around the world!

Thank you for reading & enjoy a blessed week❤︎
The Teenage Exorcists

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Power of Prayer

Matthew 21:22: “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Sometimes it seems like the entire world is set against Christianity, and then I remember that it really is. Since the time many centuries ago when God claimed His chosen people, waves of persecution and hatred have accosted those who have surrendered their hearts to God. This was promised in Matthew 10:22, when Jesus sent out the twelve saying, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Every day I see the evidence of Satan’s strategic attacks against Christians, and how the world continually attempts to stifle faith in God. Perhaps the most recent display of violence towards Christians continues to be waged in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, were radical groups like ISIS and other terror organizations murder and harass innocent Christians. It is so difficult to stand by helplessly and watch fellow brothers and sisters in Christ experience such brutality, but then I remember that through Jesus I wield an incredibly powerful weapon: prayer. In my experience as an Exorcist, I have seen first hand the awesome power that comes when the faithful cry out to God. Miracles are performed, the devil’s work is undone, and souls are saved simply by appealing to the almighty God of Christianity. It is imperative that Christians begin to lift up their fellow members of Christ’s body who are suffering persecution all throughout the world. We need to pray for those in the Middle East and elsewhere whose faith is oppressed. The Apostle Paul wrote emphatically about this issue, and was a huge proponent of praying for the persecuted church. He urges us in Ephesians 6:18 to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and request. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Often times Christians slack off when it comes to prayer, intimidated by the thought “are my prayers really accomplishing anything?” Even though it may seem like a daunting task, we have assurance that our prayers are not only heard, but will be answered if only we have the faith to believe. We must not give up on the power of prayer, but must press on faithfully, for the lives of fellow believers may depend on it.